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Parker writes: 'A few years ago I noticed a remarkable fact in the development of the Green Turtle (Chelone viridis), namely, that whilst thirteen myotomes are developed in the cervical region, the intercalary vertebral segments found afterwards are only eight. More recently, whilst working out the development of the vertebræ in various types of Birds, it struck me that we have in these high forms creatures in which the vertebral chain has been greatly shortened daring their secular development. It seems to me to he probable that the Amphibian stock from which birds arose—becoming Reptiles in their ascent, but spurning that intermediate stage—were long, eel-like forms, not dissimilar to Amphiuma and Menobranchus among the existing Urodeles.' Includes one printed page.

Annotations in pencil and ink.

Subject: Zoology / Ornithology / Physiology

Received 8 March 1888. Read 22 March 1888.

A version of this paper was published in volume 43 of the Proceedings of the Royal Society as 'On the vertebral chain of birds'.

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Physical description
Ink and graphite pencil on paper
Page extent
40 pages

Creator name

William Kitchen Parker

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William Kitchen Parker, Paper, 'On the vertebral chain of birds' by William Kitchen Parker, 1888, PP/11/34, The Royal Society Archives, London,, accessed on 29 May 2024

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  • Proceedings Papers

    Dates: 1882 - 1894

    The archival collection known as 'Proceedings Papers' is comprised of manuscripts and occasional proofs of scientific papers sent to the Royal Society which were read before meetings of Fellows and printed in full in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

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